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july 11, 2012 (0132US)  

We Arès Pilgrims are not Buddhist, but I've got a bone to pick with a friend of my parent, who had lived in the Far East, and taught me as a teenager that the Buddhists were "pig ignorant numskulls." I used to keep that prejudice as stupid as summary until 1974-1977.
Le Bouddha
The Revelation of Arès does not mention the Buddha, because he is far away from the Field that I am allotted to by it (Rev of Arès 5/5-7), but it has inclined me to think of him as the first messenger of love, forgiveness, peace, spiritual intelligence and absolute freedom, in other words of penitence. Not only do I correct my prejudice against him in this entry, but also I think that some idea of his teaching comes in handy for my brothers.
It is not easy in only sixty lines—but I'm trying—to sum up the ideas of a tremendous complex Buddha, who lived 2,500 ago. About at the very time Socrates lived in Greece. Here I refer to the Theravāda or The Ancients' School or Hinayana Buddhism, the Buddha's original teaching at variance with the Mahāyāna, the Great Vehicle, which was to appear later on, a form of buddhism widely stepped up and warped (religious, theistic and even polytheistic, ceremonial, superstitious) like Tibet's Buddhism which is as unlike the Buddha's plain pure teaching as the Catholic Church is unlike Jesus' plain pure gospel.

A prince, who was born and raised in the country now called Nepal, Siddhattha (Sidhārta in Sanskrit) Gautama was married with
Yasodharā and had a son, Rāhula. When he was 29, he forsook everyone and everything and went in search not for God and the salvation of his soul, because he did not believe in either, but for a solution to global suffering. When he was 35, he found it, sat down under a tree—The Bo tree—and became the Awekened one = the Buddha. From now onwards he preached all over India for 45 years. What did he say?
Man can free himself from all bondages. "Each one is his own refuge." Each one can reach the nirvāna (see below). Unlike some widespread opinions Buddha did not found the sangha (the monastic order) and his knowledge, which contained nothing esoteric, was destined to humain from all backgrounds. The Buddah's broad-mindedness was so much so that he did not teach a religion, but much more: a life wisdom. "Never say I believe, but say I see and I understand." Saddhā is translated as faith, but it really means confidence in correctly understood life. Buddha did not acknowledge that anyone had a right to the Truth. He thought that sectarianism and even points of philosophy and general knowledge of no straight use to salvation should be ignored. Hence the "pig ignorant numskulls" of whom my parents friends used to speak.

At the root of the salutary knowledge he saw Four Noble Truths, in Pali (the language of the Buddhist canon): Dukkha, Samudaya (beginning of dukkha), Nirodha well-known under the Sanskrit name Nirvāna (end of dukkha), Magga (the path that leads to the end of dukkha). Dukkha means "pain", but Buddha overflowed this meaning widely. Here we broach all that is deep, invigorating, but undefinablewith words and only definable with real-life experience in the Buddhas's teaching. He was neither pessimistic (some see him so, though) nor optimistic, but yathāboutam = unbiased. He saw no bliss or sin which deserved mens' particular attention; it was better to follow the path of perfect freedom and peace through which men can evade dukkha. Dukkha is an unclear notion in our languages; it is an untranslatable multipurpose notion, because life is not defined as bliss and pain, which are relative and can be exceeded : "All that is impermanent is dukkha." What we call "a being", "an individual" or "the self" is a combination of strengths physical, menta
and continuously changing, which can be divided in five aggregates (matter, sensations, perceptions, mental formation, conscience) which all together are dukkha. Conscience is neither "the self", nor "the soul", nor "the ego", because there no such thing as a conscience, wich is of many moods, and a man has as many consciences as there are conditions of their appearances. All never ends up changing. The Noble Truths are very complex, shrewdly psychological in places, so I can't elaborate on them now, but anyhow"whoever sees dukkha sees the birth and the discontinuance of dukkha and sees the path that leads to the discontinuance of dukkha."
Let's turn our attention to the second Noble Truth: Samudaya, and the third one: Nirvāna (in Sanskrit) for a moment.
Samudaya is the birth of dukkha caused by the thirst (tanhā) for greed, pleasure, power, etc., of which all the misfortunes of the world are the result. Here the concepts of kamma (well-known in Sanskrit as karma) and of re-birth. Buddha saw kamma as volition (act of willing) but not the result of the karma, which Western reincarnationists put forward. An awakened one can't produce any karma, because there is no such thing as the self, therefore running after the self is never-ending, and he sets himself free from the thirst for continuity. An awakened one never meets rebirth. The kamma or karma is by no means a process of moral justice or a play of punishment and reward, but a play of action and reaction. A being is just a combination of physical and mental strengths, said Buddha. Death is the the stopping of the physical strength,but the will to exist is a tremendous power which drives all lives and the whole world and never stops acting when the flesh dies and appearing in a lot of other forms which we can call rebirths, just as we as terrestrial beings never stop being born and then reborn repeatedly, because nothing is permanent. We are far away from the poor rudimentary concept of reincarnation that our reincarnationnists have.
According to Buddha there are no such things as a self or a soul (atman) and the life strengths keep up acting without any soul. This is a string that goes on without ever breaking.
Nirvāna is not translatable, just as dukkah isn't, but its Pali synonyms : tanhakkaya: the dying out of the thirst, asamkhata: the unconditioned, virāga: the lack of desire, nirodha: cessation, give an idea of its meaning. Buddha said that "the nirvāna is the end of the future ,the dying out of desire, hatred, illusion; this is the absolute. "To be free from vanity, to kill thirst, attachment, stop the continuity… It is the non-born, the non-becoming, the unconditioned… It is where there are no length or width, nothing subtle or rough, no good or evil, no name or form, no coming or leaving, no birth or death, no object of feeling can't be found in it." Nirvāna is neither positive nor negative, because nothing can render it "just as a fish has no words to describe what's going on out on the ground." The nirvāna results of nothing, because if it had a result, it had a cause, it would be conditioned. ne résulte de rien, car s'il était un résultat il aurait une cause, il serait conditionné. A question like, "What is there after the nirvāna?" can't be asked, because it is the final Truth. If it is final, nothing can be found afterwards. " The nirvāna can be reached in the present life, it has no relationship to death… Here we are connected to the Buddha's tremendous inexpressible wisdom.
The Buddha's teaching was aimed at everyone, monks as well as common people, wherever they lived. Sāriputta, the Buddha's main disciple said that a man can live as an ascetic hermit and be impure and that a man can have with a family and a job downtown and be pure. Besides, a man that spends his life in loneliness makes a serious error, because love, compassion and being of help to others are fundamental actions, even to monks. "To adore is to carry out one's duty towards others."
Buddhism is a way to life; nothing is compulsory in it. It is not a religion. The Buddha was a realist and said that, had the material well-being not been an end in itself, it was designed and even necessary to promote spiritual life. He incited people to economic prospérity, financial help for business and good wages for workers. He banned the weapon manufacturing. He advocated confidence (saddhā) in the spiritual,ethical, intellectual values, respect for life, charity, wisdom, nonviolence. He threw out theft, adultery, lies, drunkenness.

An Arès Pilgrim has probably spotted the points that keep him off and those that bring him close to Buddha. On the one hand, Buddha did not believe in God or in the soul. On the other hand, he recommended a way to salvation similar to the penitence and did not found any religion. Whoever thinks can see that, if we are not Buddhist , we all the same are closer to Buddha than to
the pope and its religion and even all religions. Be that as it may, if we have a good idea of the job we have to do to bring men together closer to the very simple notion of the Salvation of individuals and of the world just as The Revelation of Arès gives it to us in the Field that it points out to us, we can also see that the Father has made Buddha prepare the way for the prophet whom He will send beyond our Field.

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